Great Big Sky” (2013) marks the Nashville based crooner/songwriter Daryl Wayne Dasher’s sophomore installment as a solo artist. Released independently through his own label (Hike The Stone Music) with the help of a very successful Kickstarter ® fundraising campaign, the album is distributed by CdBaby®, Amazon®, iTunes®, and is available on CD as well as vinyl LP (with digital download card) in various independent record stores across the US and in Europe.
“Great Big Sky” is the first known fully produced album recorded entirely on a small handheld 4-track recorder called the Zoom® H4n. Each instrument and vocal track was recorded one at a time either in Dasher’s home studio in Nashville, TN or on the road in various late night hotel rooms, host homes, and even a few backstage green rooms. Most instruments were played by Dasher, with help from his long time musical collaborator Rodney Russell on percussion and Karri Lee on fiddle. While trying to develop a new sound he likes to call Folk & Western Music, Dasher encouraged Russell to experiment with various exotic percussion instruments not at all common in the world of Country Music. Each individual track was then dumped into a music mixing program and pieced together as if it was a full band performance, and then the album as a whole was mastered by legendary Mastering engineer Randy Kling (Alabama, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, etc.). The end results is producing refreshing reviews from fans, bloggers, DJ’s, and magazine critics, including Outlaw Magazine, NashvilleGab.com, Urban Country News, Radio Memphis, and Country Radio Switzerland.
Dasher’s creativity and subject matter comes from his raising in rural Northwest Ohio in a musical family and artistic family. His parents and two sisters were also talented musicians and there was always music in the house. His Uncle Jon Post leads the area’s best known Bluegrass group and Daryl himself started playing in bands at a very young age. Dasher knew what he wanted to be by the age of four years old. By the time he turned 16 he was playing in small clubs, dance halls, lodges, school auditoriums, and wherever he and his musical cohort (now Nashville producer/songwriter/artist Andrew Adkins) could get their amps and folks to come listen. In college Dasher became enthralled with the storytelling and lonesome sounds of Classic Country Music. He began playing solo acoustic shows and found that his voice naturally lent itself to the style of Country Music. He moved to Nashville, TN in 1997 where he picked up work as a boot salesman and a security guard at the Grand Ole Opry.
While in Nashville he reconnected with his ole band mate Andrew Adkins and they formed an Indie Rock trio with drummer Rodney Russell. The band would release two Independent albums, and a more critically accepted third album on the label Dual Tone Records. They spent most of twelve years in and out of their band van on the road – a real schooling for anyone who wants to be in the music business
In 2007 Dasher was involved in a musical movement spearheaded by Brigitte London called “Spirit of the Outlaws” in Nashville. The artists involved were recording tracks at Bridges’ studio in Golden, Mississippi for a supporting album of the same title. The doors did not open for the official release of that compilation album, which featured a band of legendary musicians (Richie Albright, Jerry Bridges, Fred Newell, and Eugene Moles). However the doors were open for Dasher and a few of the other artists to continue recording tracks until they had enough material to individually release full studio albums. For Dasher, this became his 2009 debut album, “Long Road Now”. The album featured 10 songs including 5 self-penned songs, a cover of the late Marty Robbins’ “Devil Woman”, and a Bluegrass/Gospel tune (“I Saw the Master”) he recorded with members of his family at Sweetwater Sound in Ft. Wayne, IN.
With all of the members of his rock trio working on individual projects, the decision was made to discontinue the band. Dasher continued to tour solo, and worked as a musician for a few artists to help make ends meet. During this time Dasher turned his focus more towards his abilities as a writer and also began co-writing with other artists like Brigitte London, Brook Faulk, and Jeff Keith (of Tesla fame). He attributes the change to attending Larry Jon Wilson concert and the discovery of the songs of Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. It was then he began working on the songs for “Great Big Sky”. He made demo recordings of the songs on the handheld 4-track recorder and started to build on them with the intention of having a well mapped out plan to take into the studio. Over the course of two years those demos became the actual album. It proved to be a painstakingly slow process, but one that felt very homespun and natural for Dasher. Rodney Russell’s percussive contributions to the album were refreshing and the two began touring with the exotic drums instead of a drum kit – despite a few major complications with sound engineers at some venues. Eventually Dasher added an upright bass player to the live mix (mostly either Folk/Americana bassist Daniel Seymour, or Daryl’s father Verl Dasher).
Thanks to bloggers, social networks, and independent radio stations Dasher’s music is now being heard all around the world. His Folk & Western sound has ignited excitement in regions not always common in a Country Music artist’s tour route, such as the Adirondack Mountains of New York, and New Eagle, Pennsylvania. The tour for “Great Big Sky” kicked off at the Hard Rock Café in Memphis, TN and took him to places like Tombstone, AZ, Marble Falls, TX, Cleveland, OH, and even to several villages in the Swiss Alps. Daryl Wayne Dasher is an artist who sincerely cares about his craft and about the people who listen to it. His passion for music and for humanity sweats out of him during every single performance. In a new world where people have virtually limitless choices of music, art, and entertainment, it is important to find a way to stand out. In a statement from Outlaw Magazine.com, music critic Richard Deihn wrote that “Daryl [Wayne] Dasher’s unique rolling baritone slides into the listener’s soul and takes up residence. A dynamic, commanding and uninhibited performer, Dasher’s star power lies in his ability to truly connect.”